January 27, 2014
Previous class: identity is not something that happens but a project people get involved
Mackey talks about the history of Canada, used in the service of this project of national
Multiculturalism is a big key word in the stories told about Canadian National Identity
Are these completely new or do they draw on older stories of history?
Wilderness and National Identity
Mackey focuses on the group of 7 as an earlier artistic movement.
Focused on wilderness and nature as a mark of distinctiveness.
Giving them a distinct character
They didn’t only paint wild nature
Painting of a home: The stories told about history are selective
Narratives focused on their wild paintings, they are comodified more in forms of mugs
*Quote by Lawren Harris
What national identity is about: a connection with the land a need to have a
Group of Seven
To create a distinct national art
`Takes settler perspective to form distinct identity: coming to the land from not having
lived here and used the land for practical purposes.
“The land is wild, and unwelcoming.. “= Settler perspective
Creating wilderness as something to be experienced and conquered to give a
new national identity.
Multiculturalism Post WWII
She focuses in on how during WWII, a lot of the state racism, which was under covers
(more subtle in the prewar period), actually came to the fourth during the war
State Racism during WWII
Internment of JapaneseCanadians
The state needed immigrants to settle the land but sometimes it was not so
benevolent to those migrants.
They were moved around and identified as outside Canadian National
Immigration was necessary to nation building
E.g. 1941 pamphlet: The New Canadian Loyalists
By John Murray Gibbons (also wrote ‘The Canadian Mosaic’)
Focused on assimilability, it vividly illustrates the values assumed to be
characteristic of Canada and Canadians, and assumptions about how ‘new Canadians’ were to fit into and contribute to the dominant British society and
its project of nationbuilding.
He talks about how we see migrants as being ale to be loyal to Canada, but
he is much about segmenting out this migrant diversity.
His focuses is on how much these migrant groups can become like migrant
British Canadians, some are easy and loyal, some do not assimilate as much
as we’d like them to in particular he focuses on Ukrainians as forming more
Increased effort to create independent national identity.
E.g. 1947 Canadian Citizenship Act
Before this there are many ways in which Canadian citizenship was
different from British citizenship
Citizenships is a way in which nations manage who can work where and who
can go where.
Period of growth and economic prosperity
There is a lot more need for labour, and more money to throw around
People were needed to work in companies, farms, and factories
government took a Keynesian approach to the management of society which
involved state support for industries in large scale, the formation of crown
corporations, scientific research, etc.
Needed labour power of immigrants
Initiallyefforts to maintain Northern European; government was trying to
keep Canada White British
The state need labour more than it need to maintain its white British
hegemony, on the 1950’s opened up efforts to recruit Italians Portuguese,
Government was trying to encourage migration from Britain and northern
Government of Canada made attempts to replace ethnicity, country of origin with skills,
training, and education.
Late 1960’seconomic boom
Introduced point system; this allowed in Asian and other Third World
Expanded beyond EuropeAsia, etc.
1970s people coming from Asia and “other 3 world countries” were a big part of
Mackey argues that this change in patterns of migration, which is often described in the
kinds of national events and stories as being benevolent of Canada, it is about what was
practically needed by the state at that point and time. These changes were not about
Canada being a tolerant country.
Postwar State Nationalism Increase in state interventionhealth, welfare, and scientific research, culture
There is a big involvement of the state in part of an effort for nation building.
Search for ‘Canadian Identity’.
Canadian Identity is something that government is involved in, creating an
identity different than the British Empire.
There were lots of commissions; the government put together commissions (board of
people who talk to lots of people who put a report on recommendations).
E.g. Fowler Commissions (mid50s)
Can we resist the tidal wave of American cultural activity? Can we retain a
Canadian identity, art, and culturea Canadian nationhood?’ (quoted in
Cultural forms like radio should more than just a profitable business but should
be unified across and the country and be an important part of National Identity.
Commissions on Canadian Culture
The sense of danger to Canadian culture was palpable, and increased state funding was
explicitly channeled towards developing Canadian culture to protect against US cultural
As a result, culture and identity were the basis of four major inquiries in the two decades
after the war:
Massey Commission (1949)arts, letter and sciences
Fowler Commission (1955)tv and radio
O’Leary Commission (1961) magazine publishing
LaurendeauDunon (1963) bilingualism an biculturalism
It was interesting in managing culture within Canada, differences within Canada
specifically Quebec’s place within Canada
New Quebec Nationalism PostWWII
a new form of Quebec nationalism emerged
Separatist sentiment and the ‘Quiet Revolution’ made it clear that Quebec
would no longer accept being treated as a province like any other.
Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson
Developed a strategy to increased demands for independence in Quebec and
the complex demands of nationalism and identity within Canada.
Negotiated the idea of ‘cooperative federalism’: a series of agreements
between Ottawa and the provinces that accepted the need for increased
consultation and flexibility.
Canada as ‘equal partnership’ between French and English Canadians
Symbolic and ritual nation building
The flag: is a nation’s premier graphic symbol second in importance only to
the nation’s premier linguistic symbolit’s name.
Centennial (hundredth anniversary)
The flag is a big symbol of nationalism Union Jack flag of the British Empire
Red EnsignBritish code of dreams: both Canadian code of arms and marks British
Used for national events
Pearson prefers one fairly similarly to the Red Ensign without the Union Jack,
with no tie to the British empire marking a break more firmly, independent national